*She was sick and did her full warm-up?
Like a leech, the 4x400m medal miss at the World Athletics championship in London won’t freely leave town. An angry source who is in the total picture of what happened in the Nigerian team called from the United States of America on the Emerald Egwim’s sickness theory by coach Gabriel Okon.
An exchange of pleasantries started the conversation. “I am responding to your report titled: “You can’t blame coaches for poor show in London – Okon.”
Let me quickly put it straight. Coach Gabriel Okon lied in your report. Where and when did Emerald called him at 4:00am to complain of any sickness? Was Emerald so sick that she did her full warm up with the team and at the last minute, he told the team that Abike will be taking her place?
He should have owned up to his professional error rather than throw the entire fault on an alleged sickness of Emerald who he denied the opportunity of making medal history in her maiden world championship.
Part of the problem was the absence of coach Victor Omagbemi who qualified the girls for the World Championship. Where was Okon when coach Victor suffered through thick and thin to qualify for the Worlds? These are questions Nigerian journalists should have been asking the federation.
How many athletes has the so-called coach Okon produced to deserve to manage other athletes? Except that may be Abike is the coach’s favourite and he was so desperate to make her run at all cost without bothering about the consequences. He took a gamble and it failed. Why lie that Emerald was ill and that is why he changed a winning team. He is a bloody liar. Please tell him.
The male voice who most likely must be a relation of Emerald but who opted not to name himself went on to say, the less than professional conduct of the Nigerian athletics officials is part of why Nigerian kids in America think of not wanting to run for their fatherland.
Asked how authoritative he is on the issue, he said, “I spoke with Emerald. A family friend read the report in France and sent the link to me. I called Emerald to ask and she told me what happened and I feel so embarrassed why a coach has to descend so low to hang his fault on an athlete. That is wrong, unfair and irresponsible.
Such persons have no business being near a local of national team. I hope the Athletics Federation officials will use the London debacle to learn better lessons of athlete management. In modern day relay management, there is supposed to be a relay coach who is so familiar and has a parental character. Relays are more of chemistry and bonding not the way the Nigerians see it.
You journalists were not asking how and why Jennifer Madu and the same Okon had a running battle in the championship. How and why did that coach get into the Nigerian team. Sincerely, I am very sorry, I do not think he is a coach.